The beginning of Ben & Jerry’s:
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield studied in Brooklyn school together and in their mid 20’s they started their ice cream company in a gas station in Burlington, Vermont in 1978. They started selling pints of their high fat content ice cream with chunky ingredients and catchy flavor in their ice cream. Soon their business grew from the counter and they were able to take their business public to Vermont Stockholders in 1984. The company name was Ben & Jerry’s homemade, Inc. One of their objectives was to give 7.5% of the pretax profits to social causes.
Due to the rich content in the ice cream they were seen as a super premium ice cream and on that sector they had Haagen Dazs as their biggest competitor. Haagen Dazs tried their best to pressurize distributors to keep Ben & Jerry’s away from the market.
Part of the anti corporate culture of the company was a policy which allowed each employee to make up his or her own title. They operated in a flexible environment which gave chance to every employee to prove themselves through their performance.
In the 1985 the company bought a second production plant, this one is nearby Springfield, Vermont. A third plant later built in St. Albans, Vermont. By the late 1980s, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream had become available in every state of the union.
Their business from 1994-1997:
By 1994 they expanded their business and employed 600 employees and had 34% of the America’s super premium market, but their future was not that prosperous as they made a loss in 1994. They didn’t have any proper distribution of responsibility in their management, as many CEO’s joined like Bob Holland and then lost their job.
Later they hired Perry Odak who was very experienced and had worked in very well known companies. Ben & jerry’s had three plants in USA but they were operating at only half plant capacity in 1997. Ben & Jerry’s had only 3.6% of the ice cream market in USA.